French History of the Unfortunate General, The

John Day, Richard Hathway, Wentworth Smith, "the other poyet" (1603)

Historical Records

Payments to Playwrights (Henslowe's Diary)

F. 118v (Greg I.186)

Lent into Crystofer beston & John ducke the 7 of }
Janewary 1602 to geue vnto mr hathwaye & }
mr smyth in earneste of a playe called }
vnfortunat Jenerall frenshe hestory the some of … } xxxs

F. 119 (Greg I.187)

pd at the apoyntment of the company }
the 10 of January 1602 [in] vnto mr pathway }
& m,sup>r smythe in parte of paymente of ther }
playe called vnfortunat the frenshe hestoreye}
the some of Jeneralle ........................... } xxxs

pd at the apoyntment of the company the 16 of }
Janewarye 1602 vnto mr hathewaye mr smythe & }
John daye in parte of payment for ther boocke }
called the vnfortunat generall frenshe hestorey some of } 40s

F. 119v (Greg I.188)

pd at the apoyntment of John ducke }
& the company the 19 of Janewarye 1602 vnto }
mr hathewaye & mr smythe & John daye & }
the other poyet in fulle payment for ther }
playe called the frenshe hestorye some of ..... } xxxxs
vnfortunat Jenerall

Payments for Properties (Henslowe's Diary)

F. 119v (Greg I.188)

Lent vnto John lewen & cattanes the 24 of }
January 1602 to by a systysen cotte & sleves }
for the playe of the vnfortunat Jenerall the }
some of ............................................... } ls

Theatrical Provenance

Henslowe purchased the play for Worcester's men at the Rose. The further purchase of apparel (a citizen's coat and sleeves) indicates that the company mounted the production. It could not have been on stage long, however, because the playhouses were closed in March due to the illness of Queen Elizabeth.

Probable Genre(s)

Foreign History (Harbage); "Contemporary" (Wiggins #1388).

Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues

None known. EEBO-TCP turns up several unfortunate generals but none French. Even Wiggins is stumped: "Evidently some misfortune befalls a general, but what it is, and whether it comes singly or in battalions, there is no way of knowing" (#1388).

References to the Play

Information welcome.

Critical Commentary

Information welcome.

For What It's Worth

Works Cited

Site created and maintained by Roslyn L. Knutson, Professor Emerita, University of Arkansas at Little Rock; updated 12 April 2016.